Edited by Daniel J. Gervais
Chapter 6: Fair use of intellectual property and economic growth
From an academic viewpoint fair use may seem to be a vague concept. However, it represents the main exception for all non-profit uses and in some cases also commercial reuses by different users, that is, use without any permission from or payment to the intellectual property owner. This chapter proposes an investigation of the impact of fair use on economic growth. Logically, there are many implications of fair use for the economy of any country. In the study presented in this chapter, the determinants of fair use specify the cases in which people can use the copyright without infringing, and determine the conditions of such a use. To achieve the objective, the study uses an econometrics model based on OLS (logarithmic form). The main finding suggests that there is a negative relationship between fair use and economic growth. This means that the more fair use (on average or in the different forms of use) the less economic growth happens, considering that a higher value (in our case) typically means lower access and use of copyright. This result is reasonable because fair use allows free access to copyright material for different purposes – except for use with a view to profit – which can be translated into a higher satisfaction of utility for a number of people and hence increase their productivity and finally economic growth.
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